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Mother attacked with pepper spray in Costco parking lot

By Anne Forester | Posted - Apr. 12, 2010 at 3:15 p.m.



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WEST VALLEY CITY -- A mother fought back when she was attacked in the parking lot of the Costco at 3747 S. 2700 West in West Valley City around 5 p.m. Sunday. The 23-year-old had her two children in the backseat when a man jumped in her car.

Police say she was getting ready to head inside the store. She reached around from the driver's seat to unbuckle her two young kids sitting in back. Just then, a man walked up to the car and jumped in the passenger seat. The attacker sprayed pepper spray in the woman's face.

West Valley City police Capt. Tom McLachlan said, "He never really demanded anything, didn't make any demands. She started to fight with him and honk the horn to draw attention, which is a great thing to do."

Although the young mother could barely see, she was able to grab the mace and make a scene.

McLachlan said, "I believe a store employee that saw the altercation and heard the noise, and that's probably what ultimately scared this guy off."

The man jumped out of her car and into a red Chevy Cavalier that was waiting nearby and sped off.

Police say they aren't sure what the man's motive was. "Potentially a robbery, carjack, potentially more serious," explained McLachlan.

Whatever it was, officers say the woman did what she was supposed to do.

"She thinks things through and reacts rapidly, and that's what everybody needs to do," McLachlan said. "So you create a scene, draw attention, do anything you can to get assistance from other people."

Police say the man may have gotten away with some cash out of her purse. Officers say while this woman was quick on her feet, it's good to have a plan in case you're ever in a situation like this one.

Police are looking for the attacker and the woman who was driving the getaway car. He is roughly 5 feet 10 inches tall, white, in his 20s with a shaved head. He was wearing baggy clothes and a white and black hoodie.

E-Mail: aforester@ksl.com


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Anne Forester

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